Knebel sets strikeout mark as Brewers beat Pirates 4-2
MILWAUKEE — Corey Knebel broke Arodlis Chapman’s modern-era record for most consecutive games by a reliever with a strikeout at a season’s start, fanning a batter for the 38th straight game and closing out the Milwaukee Brewers’ 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Knebel struck out Josh Bell on a foul tip leading off the ninth. The 25-year-old right-hander retired Elias Diaz and Andrew McCutchen on popouts, finishing a four-hitter for his 12th save in 15 chances.
Chapman had set the mark since 1900 as part of a streak of 49 games for Cincinnati that began in August 2013 and ended the following August.
Travis Shaw drove in three runs with a homer and two doubles, and he came within inches of a second home run.
Chase Anderson (6-2) allowed two runs and two hits in six innings.
Ivan Nova (7-5) gave up four runs and 11 hits — matching his career high — in seven innings. He threw a season-high 107 pitches.
Josh Bell hit an RBI single in the first. Eric Thames tied the score with an RBI single in the bottom half that stopped an 0-for-15 skid, and Shaw homered for a 2-1 lead.
Gregory Polanco hit a homered in the fourth, and Shaw hit a go-ahead double in the fifth.
Shaw hit a drive off the yellow line on the top of the left-field fence with two on in the seventh. Jaso raised an arm to signal home run while he ran the bases, and the ricochet was caught by John Jaso. The left fielder threw to third baseman Josh Harrison, who fired home to Diaz. Domingo Santana, who had been on first, jogged into the tag for the inning’s final out.
The initial call of double by third base umpire Jerry Layne was confirmed after a video review.
Harrison was hit by a pitch in the first and has been hit a major league-leading 15 times.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli was placed on the seven-day concussion DL for the second time this season. His first trip came after taking a foul tip off his mask at Baltimore on June 6. He came back June 14 and did not play in the four-game series with Milwaukee. C Jacob Stallings was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Brewers: INF Jonathan Villar (lower back strain) and OF Ryan Braun (strained left calf) are with Class A Wisconsin for rehab assignments and were to play Thursday night against Kane County. There’s a chance the two could be activated Tuesday for a three-game series in Cincinnati.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2) starts Friday against St. Louis, where Pittsburgh has lost seven straight, including three games in April.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-3) is to be on the mound Friday at Atlanta for the start of a six-game trip after beating San Diego 2-1 Saturday with a six-hitter for his first big league complete game.